Recycling is an essential component of speedy and efficient waste management. Non-biodegradable wastes and products sapping precious natural resources, essentially trees, and fossil fuels can wreak havoc on our environment and bio-diversity. Recycling is the only way out of this desperate situation. We will deal with the advantages and disadvantages of recycling, with the hope that sustained researchers will outweigh the disadvantages with new found benefits.
Advantages of Recycling
- Recycling effectively helps manage disposables in congested areas by not burdening the earth with landfills.
- It conserves energy as recycling can crank out new products at a fraction of energy compared to the energy used in the creation of the brand new products. Also, recycling leads to the emission of less volume of noxious gasses in the environment.
- Because of recycling need for transportation, mining, and other allied activities is greatly reduced.
- The entire array of non-biodegradable wastes like plastics can be recycled, thus saving the land from getting barren from toxic leakages.
- Aluminum cans are in abundant use. Recycling wasted cans can save a humongous amount of energy as extraction of low energy aluminum atoms from their bauxite ores demand freedom from oxide state, which consumes an immense amount of energy.
- Recycling of organic matter leads to the generation of valuable compost which serves as plant fertilizer. Methane is also produced which can serve as fuel for many things, specifically cooking.
- Recycling leads to conservation of precious natural resources (especially trees and water) and helps protect animal habitat. Fossil fuels take million of years to form. The balance of oxygen and carbon-dioxide is adequately maintained.
- Earth will be healthier and greener as landfills will not gobble fallow land and parks. Global warming is averted and other natural disasters are kept at bay.
- Less landfill and waste littering ensures that topmost fertile soil is not eroded away. Aquatic biodiversity is maintained as wastes are saved from being dumped in ocean leading to depletion of vital nutrients.
- More jobs are created.
- Recycling instills concern for the environment in people.
- Innovations drive scientific advancements in producing less natural resource intensive products.
- Ordinary householders can make some money by contributing used items to recycle bins and corners managed by the government.
Disadvantages of Recycling
- Methane gas produced during recycling if allowed to seep out can lead to global warming and ozone depletion, as it is a greenhouse gas.
- Operating and maintaining recycling equipment is cost intensive. Further, more factories entail more pollution.
- Governments providing tax subsidies to recycling plants have to bear annually billions of dollars revenue loss.
- Low-quality jobs undermining human labor are created which involves sifting through wastes and coming across toxins.
- Some items earmarked for recycling has to be ultimately subjected to combustion or landfill dumping due to sub-standard quality.
- Poor management of recycling sites can lead to the creation of unhygienic conditions. Abandoned dumpsters may contain traces of toxins that can seep into underground water sources or pollute air.
- There is no assurance that high-quality products will be obtained from waste recycling as input raw material if of inferior nature. Bleaching process can expose workers to harsh conditions that can deteriorate health.
- A false sense of security is circulated among people that make them more careless consequently leading to the generation of extra trash.
Waste management through recycling has to be understood and dealt with in a broader scientific perspective. This will help in reducing incidental costs, foster innovative approach and curb the fearsome prospect of our earth being deluged with heaps of unmanageable, toxic waste. As intensive research is going on, it is expected that more innovative recycling equipment with greater waste management capability will be available soon with and change the scenario dramatically.